Book Review: : The Indestructible Tom Crean Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic

Title: The Indestructible Tom Crean Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic

Written and Illustrated by: Jennifer Thermes

Published by: Welbeck Publishing

The Indestructible Tom Crean Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic is a superb creative nonfiction picture book full of facts and information that will excite the imaginations of all young explorers. It recounts the incredible, gripping true stories of the Irish born explorer Tom Crean during his three treks to the Antarctica on the Discovery, Terra Nova, and Endurance expeditions. Each journey was laden with dangers from frostbite, hypothermia, loss of both human and animal companions, malnutrition and starvation. Tom Crean’s heroic acts of courage, perseverance, and teamwork is an inspiration to children of all ages.

The use of the present tense gives the text an immediacy I feel young children will enjoy. Jennifer Thermes makes excellent use of both graphic novel style panels and picture book techniques to keep the reader turning the pages. Her maps and dramatic illustrations were created using watercolour, coloured pencil, and salt. It would be fascinating to know how the salt effects the watercolour coloured pencils. Working with a limited palette to portray the Antarctica her artwork adds atmosphere and drama that encapsulate the perilous conditions Tom Crean and his companions would have encountered.

At the back of the book Jennifer lists some of the sources she used in her research which will inspire children to do their own research to discover more about the south Pole and the expeditions that took place. I like the inclusion of a timeline, vignettes of some of the animals you would find in the Antarctica and some fun facts to get the children’s creative juices flowing.

This book would be ideal for teachers to read to support a key stage one topic on the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.

You can buy copies of The Indestructible Tom Crean Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic by Jennifer Thermes from your local bookshop, or online at

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